Ricky Harpole 7/30/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Long-discarded muscle car only good for I-told-you-so

It’s been awhile but I finally got a good shot at that ol’ thang that I once married while under the influence of hormones and poor eyesight.

It began back in our courtin’ and spoonin’ days when she was still living at home with her parents 70 miles from Moccasin Bend. She had a high school diploma and a state job.

We were not yet quite at the putrimonious (oops I meant matrimonial stage) when her car played out.

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She couldn’t drive a “stick shift” so I went a shoppin’ for her a vehicle so she could get to work thru the week and roundezvous with me on the weekends.

Apparently  the 1968 Buick Riviera was not up to her standards. It was a with a 455-cubic inch, 500-horsepower engine and was immaculate.

The paint was good, the leather upholstery was beautiful. The radio even worked most of the time. It came with a factory installed 8-track tape player with a Jim Crocé tape stuck in it.

The car weighed about 16 tons and held the road like a boxcar full of lead. If you “feather footed” it would move all that tonnage from a dead stop to 80 mph in 5.8 seconds. She hated it from first sight. “It looks like something a damn Floyd’s Island pimp would use for a billboard” she swore.

(It was one of the ugliest designs that some Detroit idiots had designed while under the influence of cow pasture mushrooms). I pointed out that it was strongly built to the point it could disable a south bound freight and considering her previous driving record it was the right piece of equipment for her needs.

She would drive it from time to time, but always in disguise so as to render her basically unrecognizable to buy tobacco and alcohol or visit her parents, but under no circumstance would she drive it to work.

I got rid of it eventually. It got about 11 miles to a gallon but that wasn’t a serious factor because gasoline was about 75 cents per gallon and I could get 100 octane aviation fuel from the sunset strip at cost in limited quantities for those special deliveries for the moonshine industry.

The witch of the west was still too ashamed to be recognized in it, especially behind the wheel, so when some fool with more goodies than sense made an offer I took it.

That would have been the end of it but last April I caught a gig to open for an antique cars show, and there she sat. It was the same car, with little or no additions or repairs.

The twin Carter carbeurators sat still mounted on the Edelbrock manifold. The car sold for $19,000. My original investment involved less than $1,500. I made damn sure she knew it had once been hers and registered in her name. She despised that part too.

I pointed out that she could have made a cigarette run once a week in disguise and washed and waxed it once a month and would  be $19,000 richer. She “swole up” like an ole toad frog and wouldn’t cast a glance at me or the car for the duration of the show. She was mule-lipped as a spring jackass, thinking about that $20,000 muscle car that she was too proud to drive or appreciate.

That’s why I drive old Ford trucks cause it is impossible to make a heifer happy til it’s too late.
Please drive safely,
Ricky Harpole
(Contact Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)